Risky but honest PS, 3.95/174, possible C&F? Uh, SOS?

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wintermutest

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Risky but honest PS, 3.95/174, possible C&F? Uh, SOS?

Postby wintermutest » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:21 am

Hey all, I’ve seen a lot of topics close to what I’m looking for help on but not quite.

To give a little background on my situation: I’m applying this cycle, graduating with 3.95 cum gpa from top public uni, somehow managed a 174 on my first LSAT (I say somehow quite honestly, I was as sick as a dog on the day of and had never scored higher than 169 on a PLSAT) nothing fantastic in terms of work exp but a couple years part time and a year long internship. And I’m stuck in my app process because I’m tryjng to decide if my PS could potentially screw up my #s.

Basically I’ve written about what living with and learning to manage my OCD has taught me. I think it’s a pretty good read, and something that stands out at least. It’s very positive and focused along the lines of how I’ve actually benefited from my experiences.

I was pretty excited about this topic, it’s real and something that has significantly impacted my life. Excited until... I realized the potential for C&F red flags. I’ve never been in any sort of legal trouble, never had a problem with my schools. But I’ve heard of some state’s bars asking about mental illness, is this going to be an issue for me?

I’m mostly projecting a bit, I’m definitely in a position to pass the C&F requirements on the law school apps (since they are all focused on criminal or academic delinquency records), but considering how the board will request a copy of your law school app when you apply to practice, I’m concerned about having my PS flat out talk about my mental illness.

So uhm, any help is so very much appreciated. :oops:

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totesTheGoat

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Re: Risky but honest PS, 3.95/174, possible C&F? Uh, SOS?

Postby totesTheGoat » Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:57 am

I don't know that OCD falls into the types of mental illness that they're screening for. I don't have enough experience in the area to make a proclamation on the subject, but I'd think they would be looking for things like paranoid schizophrenia, bipolar with a history of going off one's meds, alcoholism/compulsive gambling and other mental illnesses that could negatively impact a client if they were to "flare up" right before a trial.

I don't think there's anything wrong with your PS topic assuming, of course, that you're officially diagnosed with OCD (which appears to be true given the way you talk about it). So many people throw the term OCD around these days as if being neat and tidy is a disorder.

nixy

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Re: Risky but honest PS, 3.95/174, possible C&F? Uh, SOS?

Postby nixy » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:19 am

Just for one example, in my state, the mental health question asks if you’ve had treatment for mental health problems in the last [I forget how many - 10?] years, and if you have, you need to get a letter from your provider stating that your condition/diagnosis does not interfere with your fitness to be an attorney. (I don’t think you need to give details about the condition/treatment, though of course your provider might.) If you can get such a letter, there shouldn’t be any problems (I did this and had no hiccups at all, though my issue wasn’t OCD).

Keep in mind that the bar will ask about mental health regardless, so if OCD counts as the kind of condition you need to report (honestly I don’t know) you will be disclosing it anyway. If they don’t qualify OCD as such a condition I don’t think they’re going to care if it’s referenced in your law school application (they will ask you directly on their application about what they care about).

You could also look up the state bar for states where you’re interested in practicing and look at their applications, to see what you’re going to have to disclose when you apply.

All that said, there are people on this site who will say never reference mental illness if you don’t have to. I think if it’s honest to you and makes clear you have everything managed at this point, it could help you, but some will disagree.

Tl;dr - I don’t think writing about it in your PS will hurt you/make a difference for C&F in future, though writing about mental health can be a bit risky.

wintermutest

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Re: Risky but honest PS, 3.95/174, possible C&F? Uh, SOS?

Postby wintermutest » Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:47 pm

totesTheGoat wrote:I don't know that OCD falls into the types of mental illness that they're screening for. I don't have enough experience in the area to make a proclamation on the subject, but I'd think they would be looking for things like paranoid schizophrenia, bipolar with a history of going off one's meds, alcoholism/compulsive gambling and other mental illnesses that could negatively impact a client if they were to "flare up" right before a trial.

I don't think there's anything wrong with your PS topic assuming, of course, that you're officially diagnosed with OCD (which appears to be true given the way you talk about it). So many people throw the term OCD around these days as if being neat and tidy is a disorder.


I did pick up on the fact that C&F is probably not really that concerned with general anxiety disorders like mine, especially considering how many people deal with depression/anxiety. I just assumed I will have to be fully honest and disclose everything, but perhaps didn’t want to highlight it so prominently in my PS.

But yes, I absolutely know what you’re talking about in terms of people misunderstanding what OCD even is. I know for a fact that what I’ve experienced since I was perhaps 4 years old is definitely OCD. I see it in my father as well but that’s another story.

Yet with regards to an official diagnosis, I did see a psychiatrist back in early HS maybe once or twice to start up a medication routine. But I’m not even sure my health record officially states a diagnosis. I saw a therapist for non-related family issues for a couple years later. Is there any way to check my medical record to see if OCD is listed, and should I even bother? If I do decide to stick with this PS, is there anyway for the C&F board to somehow mess with my law apps/degree (assuming I even make it to and through law school) if it turns out I’ve written on something that’s not even officially on my record?

This is a ton of speculation, but I really appreciate your help!

QContinuum

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Re: Risky but honest PS, 3.95/174, possible C&F? Uh, SOS?

Postby QContinuum » Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:55 pm

I wouldn't write about/mention having OCD (or any medical condition) absent an actual medical diagnosis of the same. Don't want to raise any C&F issues down the road due to "falsely" claiming to have a medical condition you don't have.

Your stats are great. All you need (for Harvard and down) is an average PS to avoid blowing it. You don't need something super amazing!

wintermutest

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Re: Risky but honest PS, 3.95/174, possible C&F? Uh, SOS?

Postby wintermutest » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:07 pm

QContinuum wrote:I wouldn't write about/mention having OCD (or any medical condition) absent an actual medical diagnosis of the same. Don't want to raise any C&F issues down the road due to "falsely" claiming to have a medical condition you don't have.

Your stats are great. All you need (for Harvard and down) is an average PS to avoid blowing it. You don't need something super amazing!



You’ve made a good point here. As I mentioned, I’m not 100% sure that the official diagnosis is listed. I know what I’ve experienced, I’m not at all lying, but you’re right I don’t want to give C&F any reason to suspect fraud.

I really do love my PS, I have put a lot of heart and time into it but perhaps you’re right in that I should just go a safer route. My safer route would probably be writing about an internship I had which was very involved and meaningful to me, but it was only for a year (college spring semester sophomore to spring junior). Do you think that’s long enough to write on that experience?

And thank you for the words of encouragement, I feel great with my stats but at the same time the pressure not to blow it is very real. :?

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BulletTooth

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Re: Risky but honest PS, 3.95/174, possible C&F? Uh, SOS?

Postby BulletTooth » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:56 pm

QContinuum wrote:I wouldn't write about/mention having OCD (or any medical condition) absent an actual medical diagnosis of the same. Don't want to raise any C&F issues down the road due to "falsely" claiming to have a medical condition you don't have.

Your stats are great. All you need (for Harvard and down) is an average PS to avoid blowing it. You don't need something super amazing!


I agree. I think I would opt for the safe route based on your numbers.



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